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Axis Dialog for General 2D and 3D GraphsExpand Axis Dialog for General 2D and 3D Graphs The Reference Lines Tab

For 2D graphs in Cartesian coordinates, you can add multiple vertical/horizontal reference lines and fill the area between paired reference lines.

Reference Lines tab.png

Starting with Origin 2017, you can use the Layer list to switch between layers in a multi-layer graph.

Switch layers control.png

Reference Lines at Value

To locate the reference lines, you can enter space-separated position values in this text box or select a reference column(by clicking the Select Column interactive button Button Select Data Interactive.png beside this text box) from worksheet.

Alternate Fill

Alternate Fill

Fill the area between every odd number reference line and its next even number reference line, such as RLine 1 ~ RLine 2, RLine 3 ~ RLine 4.

Alternate Fill Include Axis Begin and Axis End

Do Alternate Fill including Axis Begin and Axis End. The filling order is Axis Begin to RLine 1. Axis End will be the last fill to if the custom line number is even.

You can refer to this tutorial to learn how this option works.

Display Box for Reference Lines

List all reference lines. The reference lines Axis Begin and Axis End will listed at top of this table by default.

At Axis Value

Show the position of added reference lines.


Specify whether to show the reference line at current axis value.

Fill to

Select a reference line from the drop-down list which current reference line should be filled to. If you've selected any Alternate Fill check box above, this column will show the pairing lines and be not editable.


Specify whether to show label for the reference line.

Label Text

Specify what is to be shown as label for each reference line.

  • The default, <value as entered>, displays the position value as label for the current reference line.
  • Select <auto> to follow the tick label format settings of the Tick Labels tab of the Axis dialog (Type, Display, Set Decimal Places, Decimal Number).
  • You can also type in a custom string using the form $(v, Formats) where v is the position value and Formats uses the syntax described under Origin Formats. There are two special cases:
$(v,D99) // v = Julian-Day value in the form "MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss" when Tick Label Type=Date
$(v,T99) // v = Julian-Day value in the form "DDD:hh:mm:ss" when Tick Label Type=Time

By default, the label object has the following properties:

  • A label is positioned at the top of the reference line but can display in the middle or at the bottom.
  • A Name that displays on the Programming tab of the Properties dialog box. This name is RL(X/Y)#, where "X" or "Y" identifies the axis and "#" is the order in which the line appears in the Reference Lines list (e.g. RLX3 would be the third reference line in the list associated with the X axis).
  • Attached to the graph by Layer and Scales.
  • A Link to (%, $) Substitution Level of 1, which means the object is dynamically linked to value of variable v.

Label Location

Specify the position of the labels. For Vertical lines, possible positions are top/middle/bottom of the reference lines; For Horizontal lines, possible positions are left/middle/right of the reference lines.


There are three buttons under the display box:

Insert Insert a new reference line before the one you selected in display box.
Delete Delete one or more reference lines that are selected in the display box. (i.e. the reference lines other than the Axis Begin and Axis End ones). To select multiple lines, hold down Ctrl key and click on the reference line entries one by one.
Details... Open the Reference Lines dialog for further style customization of the reference lines.
Note: To enable Insert and Delete buttons, you should clear Reference Lines at Value at first.

Details dialog for Reference Lines

This dialog can be opened by clicking the Details... button in the Reference Lines tab of Axis dialog. It is used to customize formats and styles of all reference lines.

Details dialog for Reference Lines.png

At Axis Value

Show the position of current reference line and it is not editable. It only appears for custom reference lines(excluding Axis Begin and Axis End).


The Show check box is consistent with the Line check box in the Display table. You can use it to show or hide the reference line.

Unchecking Auto Format check box to customize the Color, Style and Thickness of current reference line.


Customize Fill Pattern between paired reference lines.

Select the fill target lines from Fill To drop-down list. It is consistent with the Fill To option in the Display table. If any Alternate Fill is applied, this drop-down list turns gray.

Customize the fill color and color transparency using the Color and Transparency options.

You can easily copy the style of one reference line to others by Copy Format and Paste Format in this dialog. Right click on a reference line in the left panel Reference Lines at and select Copy Format, and then select the target reference line(s) and right click to Paste Format. What's more, you can select Duplicate in the context menu to create a new reference line with the same style.

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